According to environmental groups and climate scientists, Earth Overshoot Day is just one of many urgent indicators that only rapid and systemic restructuring of our energy systems can reverse the trends that continue to deplete and degrade the planet.
“Humanity’s carbon footprint alone more than doubled since the early 1970s and remains the fastest growing component of the widening gap between the Ecological Footprint and the planet’s biocapacity,” Mathis Wackernagel, CEO of Global Footprint Network, said in a statement. “To achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Accord, humanity would need to exit the fossil fuel economy before 2050.”
But recent moves by U.S. President Donald Trump have significantly undercut hopes that the global community can work together to accomplish this necessarily ambitious transformation.
“Imperfect as it may be, the Paris Climate Accord generated global goodwill and hope that humanity was ready at last to tackle its biggest challenge yet,” writes The Telegraph‘s Patrick Scott. “However, the deal suffered a huge blow in June when Trump announced his plans to withdraw from the agreement.”
According to the Global Footprint Network, if everyone lived like the U.S. population, we would need five Earths to sustain the level of consumption.
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